KEPLER’S DREAM (2017): Review by Katusha Jin

Directed and co-written by Amy Glazer, Kepler’s Dream is an adaptation of a novel of the same name by Juliet Bell. It stars Isabella Blake-Thomas as the young girl “Ella”, who is forced to stay at “Broken Family Camp” with her strict grandmother, “Violet von Stern” (Holland Taylor). The theft of a valuable book from Violet’s collection is blamed on an innocent, and Ella is determined to find the real thief. Her findings, unexpectedly lead her to learn new things about her own family. (KIZJ: 3/5)

REBELS ON POINTE (2017): Review by Katusha Jin

Bobbi Jo Hart writes, directs, and films the intimate feature documentary, Rebels on Pointe. Following her previous award-winning work, this film is a gem that celebrates the male, drag ballet company, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo. Hart creates an in-depth look at ballet from a very different perspective. (KIZJ: 4.5/5)

BITCH (2017): Review by Katusha Jin

Bitch is the fourth feature from Marianna Palka. Her film is a brave, modern-day satire that attempts to give an eccentric scream against patriarchal privileges, set in a suburban American family with a philandering husband and unappreciative children. (KIZJ: 2.5/5)


Director-screenwriter-producer Cristina Herrera Borquez documents Victor and Fernando’s battle to becoming a legally married gay couple in her film No Dress Code Required. Originally titled Etiqueta No Rigurosa, this documentary spans over a few years where the couple’s love and hope for a licensed recognition, turns into despair and disappointment, which then becomes a mission and duty. (KIZJ: 4/5)

UNREST (2017): Review by Katusha Jin

Director Jennifer Brea, originally a PhD student at Harvard, becomes the voice of 17 million worldwide silent sufferers in her eye-opening personal documentary about Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, otherwise known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS). Unrest is a scream for help from those who have been deprived of the much-needed support from doctors and loved ones alike. (KIZJ: 5/5)

BEACH RATS (2017): Review by Katusha Jin

After a successful debut with It Felt Like Love, writer-director Eliza Hittman brings to the screen Beach Rats. She partners with Director of Photography Hélène Louvart to tell the story of a sexually confused teenage boy who finds himself lost in a world where there is no “coming out”. (KIZJ: 4/5)

AFTER LOVE (2016): Review by Katusha Jin

After Love, originally titled L’Economie du couple, depicts a couple that is finally reaching the end of their relationship after 15 years of trying to build a life together. Director Joachim Lafosse partners with writers Mazarine Pingeot and Fanny Burdino, and together, they deliver a feature where the reality of the stresses and burdens of everyday life replace romance. (KIZJ: 4/5)

STRANGE WEATHER (2016): Review by Katusha Jin

Writer and director Katherine Dieckmann creates a beautiful lead role for actress Holly Hunter in Strange Weather. And filled with female roles both on and off-screen, the directing, writing, acting, producing, music, and editing were all done by female artists and filmmakers. The film centers on the growth of a Southern woman, “Darcy Baylor” (Holly Hunter), who goes on a road trip with fellow Southerner, “Carrie Coon” (Byrd Ritt), in search for answers about her son’s death. (KIZJ: 3.5/5)

FALSE CONFESSIONS (2016): Review by Katusha Jin

Luc Bondy and Marie-Louise Bischofberger co-direct False Confessions — in French Les Fausses Confidences — starring Isabelle Huppert and Louis Garrel. The husband-and-wife duo create a movie that plays around with the psychology of love in its characters set in a surreal world. Originating from the stage play Marivaux, Bondy collaborated with writer Geoffrey Layton to bring this story from the stage to the screen. (KIZJ: 3.5/5)

POP AYE (2017): Review By Katusha Jin

A nostalgic road trip movie, Pop Aye, follows the relationship between an unusual pair—architect and elephant—as they encounter a diverse range of people on their journey. Having received many international awards for her previous short films, writer-director Kristen Tan brings to the screen her heartwarming and down-to-earth debut feature. (KIZJ: 4.5/5)

THE BAD BATCH (2016): Review By Katusha Jin

Directed and written by Ana Lily Amirpour, The Bad Batch is her second feature after the acclaimed A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. The Bad Batch tells the story of a world that is built by those who are unwanted, who have no choice but to live in a wasteland in a society of cannibals. (KIZJ: 3/5)

TRACKTOWN (2016): Review by Katusha Jin

Olympic athlete Alexi Pappas stars in, co-writes, and co-directs the semi-autobiographical feature Tracktown, with Jeremy Teicher. “Plumb” (Alexi Pappas), is a quirky, young Olympic hopeful, who must juggle newfound adult responsibilities whilst training for her Olympic trials. In this coming-of-age drama, the blend of fiction and reality sheds light on the often-ignored side of being an athlete, where mental strength is just as important as physical strength. (KIZJ: 3.5/5)

BUSTER’S MAL HEART (2016): Review by Katusha Jin

Written and directed by Sarah Adina Smith, Buster’s Mal Heart is an Indie mystery thriller tracing three parallel storylines that intertwine in the most unexpected, surprising, and unusual ways. Rami Malek takes on the role of “Buster”, a character of many dimensions, whose life we try to piece together scene by scene like an intricate puzzle. (KIZJ: 3/5)

TOMMY’S HONOUR (2016): Review by Katusha Jin

Set in the lush green landscapes of Scotland during the 19th century, Tommy’s Honour is a biopic based on a true story about a father and his son, both known as pioneers of golf. Director Jason Connery works with writers Pamela Marin and Kevin Cook to explore the professional and familial conflicts that are born out of a passion for golf. (KIZJ: 3.5/5)

ALIVE AND KICKING (2016): Review by Katusha Jin

Director and screenwriter Susan Glatzer entrances and infects us with curiosity about the existing Swing dance world in her documentary Alive and Kicking. Glatzer co-writes the piece with Heidi Zimmerman, exposing the problems our modern world has in its lack of physical intimacy and communication, and what potential Swing dance offers to remedy this. (KIZJ: 4/5)


Marina Zenovich, a producer and director known for her work in nonfiction, investigates the exploitation of California’s most valuable resource: water. Water and Power: A California Heist uncovers the hidden truths of California’s water supply from the 1960s and the issues they cause in the present day when public interests and private interests are in conflict. (KIZJ: 3.5/5)

THE LURE (2015): Review by Katusha Jin

The Lure is Polish director Agnieszka Smoczyńska’s debut feature-length film. Originally named órki dancingu, which literally translates as “Daughters of the Dance Club”, this horror musical film is about two mermaids, “Silver” (Marta Mazurek) and “Gold” (Michaline Olszanska) who become fascinated with their new lifestyle as humans. They join a family of musicians and explore the world humans live in whilst performing at an adult entertainment club. However, the choice between staying a mermaid and becoming a human begins to create a divide between the sisters, who cannot live without one another. (KIZJ: 3.5/5)